Workers tightened locks on the track across the demilitarised zone (DMZ) amid applause from some 100 people from both sides.
|Symbolic: Workers tighten locks |
on the railway link
Communist North Korea marked the event by putting on a gala show at a time when US pressure is mounting on Pyongyang over its nuclear ambitions.
But South Korea, a staunch US ally, put up a low-key show.
“Having cleared barbed wires and mines in the demilitarised zone (DMZ), we have restored a national artery”, said South Korea’s chief delegate Cho Myung-Kyoon, who directs the unification ministry.
His North Korean counterpart, Kim Byong-Chil said the railway line would lead to rising feelings of brotherhood and would allow prosperity to flow again.
The ceremony was held on the third anniversary of a historic summit between the then South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-II.
The two leaders had then signed a landmark declaration for peace and reconciliation. However, South Korea’s concerns over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions led to delays in the restoration of the cross-border rail and road links.
The ceremony came a day after the United States, Japan and South Korea vowed to curb alleged criminal activities by the North, including drug smuggling and money counterfeiting.